Day 10 – Friday:
We arose at 3:45am to get to the airport and had a worry-free flight to Houston. After making it through customs, baggage claim and security, we had plenty of time to enjoy lunch before finding out our flight to Newark was cancelled due to the snow storm crippling the East Coast. Praise God! We were put on a flight to Philadelphia. At the time of this writing, the flight has been delayed for 3 hours, but we hope to be home tonight, God willing!
Day 9 – Sunday:
Today was our last day in Nicaragua before heading home. We all piled in a van to go to Sunday morning church service in Cana Castilla. On our way, we made a brief stop at Loma de Gracia (Hill of Grace), to see the possible future sight for the discipleship program for those who are recovering from addictions
Papaya growing at Loma de Gracia
At Cana Castilla, we worshipped in song before Chris Arista taught from Haggai 1 regarding the need to make room in your life to have a personal relationship with the LORD before seeking creature comforts. When you put worldly desires before communion with God, he will not give you prosperity.
Sylvia & Nelson with Christiana, Alicia, Nelson Jr and Helson in front of their home at Cana Castilla
At midday, most of the team once again visited with Roberto’s feeding program for the homeless, sharing God’s love with the lost while Betty, Kevin and Mike went shopping for last minute groceries for lunch.
Kevin, Bob and Mike went for a final visit at Torre Fuerte’s evening service and said our final goodbyes, making sure to encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ to persevere, relying on the Holy Spirit for the strength to press on.
Day 8 – Saturday:
Today was the final day of the pastors’ conference. Father and son, Jamie and Christopher Arista from Rancho Poiema, Mexico expounded on the importance of edifying the body of Christ in order to build unity among the body.
Christopher Arista teaching at the pastors’ conference
Doug shared about how pastors, as shepherds should follow the example of Christ’s humility and Betty explained how Jesus gave us an outline of how to pray to the LORD in Matthew 6.
Finally, Pastor Charles of El Puente performed a Communion service demonstrating the need for the shedding of blood as shown during the original Passover in Egypt. It was a sweet time of forgiveness and healing as people were given the body and blood of Christ, broken and shed for them in the ultimate act of love and humility.
Pastors Jamie, Carlos & Don Paco Distributing the elements at the pastors’ conference.
Day 7 – Friday:
Today was the first day of the two-day Pastors’ Conference.
Seeing the unity and fellowship of two local churches was a beautiful example of God’s changing work in the heart of the Nicaraguan church. While the conference was held at El Puente, the people of both El Puente and Torre Fuerte joined together in serving and helping to make the conference a smooth and blessed event.
The Lord has been impressing on the hearts of F.O.A.M. and the Nicaraguan church that a need for more discipleship and further equipping for the work of daily ministry is needed for the people in these churches. Carlos Sales and Kevin Sine taught on the importance of discipling one another and God’s mighty work that happens through Biblical fellowship and personal Bible study.
God is on the move and we are excited to be a part of the mighty things He is doing. Please continue to pray for our team and the churches in Nicaragua. Pray that God will continue to reveal Himself to the Nicaraguans and that lives will continue to be transformed by Him.
Gracias and Dios te bendiga!
The entire FOAM team.
Day 5: Today the group treked for what seemed to be miles upon miles in the scorching sun and finally arrived at Fortin. As we arrived, Manfredo’s wife Connie, and their daughters Veronica and Magdalena were faithfully preparing 2 huge vats of chicken stew and rice. We linked up with Heather her husband and their 6 children, who come from Reno, NV on an extended missions vision trip. Heather performed a great skit of Jesus multiplying the fish/bread for all the ninos. Twice a week Connie faithfully remains behind the scenes and prepares the food while others entertain the children and present the Gospel. Years ago, this feeding program began over a fire pit and very rustic facilities.
Now FOAM has provided assistance to purchase the property which now houses more modern facilities including plumbing, electricity and an open air church. The FOAM team helped serve the food and drink, cleaned the dishes and did a craft with the children.
After dinner, a small group went back to Viva la Luz to share their testimonies and a brief lesson about how God has provided to overcome the world and cleanse us from our shame.
As we complete the first half of our week, we have hit the proverbial “hump” and are dragging. Please pray for our energy levels and for the upcoming conference as the speakers prepare to share spiritual growth truths and new concepts on small group teaching methods.
Muchas gracias, y Dios te bendiga,
Pam, Charlie, Kevin and Mike
Day 4: Upon completion of the men’s devotions, a group headed to the Dump led by Mario. Bob gave his testimony and then food was provided for over 50 people.
Later, another group headed to Francisco’s bodega for a good time with the children. As usual we had a broad invitation to all the ninos in the area and repeated our program. We put on the Samuel skit, did crafts, including coloring and making a beaded key chain as a memento.
Francisco has been associated with the FOAM team practically from itsinception. He is the MVP of communications, translation, and special events. And if that is not enough, he will be be bringing his talents to the United States with Doug and will be visiting and sightseeing for 3 weeks in PA.
God Bless you!
Day 3: This morning the guys met with Nica’s for a sweet time of Bible study which focused on a “small group format” discussing faith which allowed every participant to be both teacher and student. Afterward, the team met with Pastor Manfredo & Magdalena and headed to San Juan de Gracia for prayer and outreach at his newly planted 6 month old bible study and soon to be church. Pastor Manfredo is the oldest brother of Pastor Flores and he also pastors a church at El Fortin which includes a feeding program to the local congregants and the local community.
FOAM has been supporting outreaches to San Juan de Gracia over the past two years, which is a remote population of unreached people for Christ. Pastor Manfredo thought this would be a great location to engage the people to the truths of God’s Word. This is done through door-to-door visitation, prayer, teaching the Word of God to the adults while Magdalena leads the children’s ministries outreach and bible teaching.
Through Pastor Manfredo’s dedication to serving this community a local landowner has generously offered a small plot of land on which to build the church.
It was a privilege to see God reward the faithfulness of Pastor Manfredo’s passion. It is an honor that FOAM has partnered up with God’s plan for these small communities at El Fortin and San Juan de Gracia.
The evening concluded at Viva La Luz with Bob and Roy sharing their testimonies, which was well received and offered encouragement to the addictions group.
Dios Te Bendiga
Day 2 Sunday: The team met at El Puente for church at 8:30. We had a nice time of worship and then teaching by Don Straka, a local missionary.
After church the team met at Casa Buena Vista to have lunch, pray and plan for the rest of the day. Eight of the group then headed to a new feeding program of homeless men co-led by Roberto, a local who serves as a translator and is also involved with the men’s addiction recovery group Viva la Luz. In the fall, Roberto felt called to join with a local named Moses to help with this feeding program. Many of the men have accepted Jesus into their hearts and we could see the true desire they had for the love of Christ that we shared with them. This was an encouraging time to see long lost friends and to meet new ones. A meal was served while a mini-message was given. Two locals shared their testimonies and then from our group, Charlie shared.
We returned to our houses for a little R&R, individual devotionals and down-time before heading out to CC Torre Fuerte to join the local fellowship for their weekly church service. For dinner, Mike and our friend/translator Francisco went to pick up some delicious chicken from a local vendor and discussed our highs and lows for the day over dinner.
Tomorrow promises to be a big day, beginning with the men hosting morning devotions at 6am with the men from Viva la Luz,the addiction recovery program.
Please pray for continual refreshing as we are adjusting to the lack of sleep Friday night as well as the heat, especially coming from the polar vortex at home.
Thank you and God bless,
Pam, Mike & Charlie
Day 1 Saturday: Nine of the FOAM team members met at the McRoberts at 1:15 AM to head to Nicaragua.
We were delayed leaving from Newark but they graciously held the plane in Houston for us. Doug picked us up at the airport with the drivers.
After we arrived Mike, Alan and Betty went shopping for groceries, Pam & Kathy went to a baby shower for Karla and the rest of the group got settled. The girls from CC (Calvary Chapel) Torre Fuerte’s youth group headed to our Buena Vista House for a night with Betty, Kathy and Pam. It was a fun night of games, reconnecting, and getting to know new friends. We enjoyed pizza and made rubber band bracelets. The guys all met at Casa Tanquilla. The night included an ice breaker, swimming, pizza and testimonies by Mike, Alan and 3 youth group guys and great fellowship. These 2 groups of young people will be serving at the conference this weekend.
Then a short debrief and off to bed. Most of the group has been up since early Friday morning.
Dios Te Bendiga